resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
January, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 01
It's All in Your Mind
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Happy New Year! Hope you had, or are having, a most joyous season of holidays. I want to start this year off with a rather esoteric editorial on how we as massage therapists, being alternative providers, have the potential to change the entire focus of health care in America. This is pretty heavy, conceptual stuff. I hope you can be open to at least thinking about it.
It is dysfunctional, or at least non-serving thought patterns, mostly unconscious, that are the root of most people's problems and conditions. Healing the mind is the only lasting way of healing the body and bringing about lasting health and wellness.
Increased awareness is an important initial first step, and touch therapies like massage have the potential to play an essential role in developing self-awareness. As alternative providers, we should be providing alternative health knowledge (education) to everyone we touch. Leading by example, we can heal the world one heart-mind at a time. From the non-dualistic perspective, what you do for or to others, you are doing to and for yourself. Likewise, what you do to and for yourself, you are doing to and for others. Think about it. Health is a conscious choice. Health is not a right. To get it, we have to pursue it. No one can get it for us, and no one can give it to us. It is a conscious choice each one of us must make and then pursue with passion and dedication.
Are we as a profession interested in helping people achieve health, or are we interested in temporarily relieving symptoms, be they stress or more specific ones? If we are interested in helping people achieve health, we have to be their example. No one can lead where they have not been. If we are just interested in temporarily relieving symptoms, then we should focus on sickness like the allopaths do. Learn all about it. You will get what you focus on, so you will get lots of symptoms, probably in your body as well as in the patients you see. (Doctors die relatively young.)
This attitude requires very little personal responsibility from either the patient or the provider. Address the patient's symptom, be it stress or trigger points, and send them on their way. Hope they will call back regularly for more symptomatic relief. Then wonder why they disappear after a while, only to learn they are desperately seeking help from another provider who, sadly, will probably only treat their symptoms, just differently. So few choose the path of health because it is more difficult, but the rewards come back many times over the effort required in something called "quality of life" or "wellness." It also comes back as a booked-solid practice with people begging you to help them.
This presents the massage profession with a tough choice. We tend to look for the easy way out. I am often told to lighten up: "It's just a massage." I am told there is no need to spend more time learning about health; just learn to push some oil around and help people relax. Anyone can learn to do massage. It's no big deal, I am told. We sell ourselves so short sometimes.
As a profession, we need a change of focus from being in the massage business to being in the people and health business. We also have the opportunity to bring about a huge paradigm shift in health care if we will just step up to the plate. The problem with health care today is that its focus is on the professions. That is what all the turf wars and licensing battles are about. The professions win and the patients lose every time. The current system is about maximizing profit, not wellness, to the point that it is against the best interests of the system to allow wellness. It is time to turn the focus toward the patient, providing the best and most cost-effective care and wellness possible. Only the alternative disciplines can do this, and massage has the biggest chance of success.
Hippocrates wrote, "It is more important to know what kind of person the disease has than what kind of disease the person has." By putting the patient first. By treating the person, the whole person, and by focusing on wellness instead of sickness (symptoms), we can set a new standard of health care and the public will flock to us.
Get into the people and health business, put the patient first, and learn your stuff, especially how to assess and treat the patient with soft-tissue pain. Walk your talk. When you can get people out of pain, prevent injuries and inspire people to reach for high-level wellness, you will not have to participate in the economic downturn. You will have patients begging you to work on them, as do those of us who have already made this investment in ourselves. Join in while it is still allowed, for humanity's sake.
GM Food vs. Your Organs
In research conducted at the request of the Austrian Health Ministry, Professor Jurgen Zentek found that Monsanto's genetically modified (GM) corn (MON863) can have negative effects on animal reproductive systems, leading to sterility in three to four generations. Monsanto's own studies have shown organ damage, as have other studies since 1998. Of course, Monsanto denies the charges based on the fact that bureaucrats and politicians all over the world have approved the stuff as safe to eat. Both the Clinton and Bush administrations have approved GM foods, prevented foods from being labeled as GM and forced them on the rest of the world. This is not expected to stop anytime soon.
This is about massage, by the way. Sterility and organ damage will cause much stress and probably soft-tissue conditions (visceral-somatic reactions) that we will be seeing on our tables eventually. They continue to justify human suffering in the name of profit. If you care to learn more, see www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_15588.cfm.
I'll be back in March. Bring your kites.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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